Teaching Reform in C Programming Course: History
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C programming is a very practical course for computer majors and is one of the basic core courses. Students need to master programming knowledge through a great deal of programming training and practice, improve their programming ability, and gradually understand and master the ideas and methods of programming.

  • teaching mode
  • sustainable development
  • training abilities

1. Introduction

C programming is a very practical course for computer majors and is one of the basic core courses. Students need to master programming knowledge through a great deal of programming training and practice, improve their programming ability, and gradually understand and master the ideas and methods of programming. Teachers must create an environment that is conducive to cultivating students’ practical ability when teaching the course to improve students’ practical ability in programming. With the gradual implementation of the Engineering Education Professional Accreditation [1] for computer majors in China, the Ministry of Education of China proposed strengthening the construction of the “Golden Course” in the new era, implemented the “Double Ten-Thousand Plan,” [2] and fully implemented the requirement of the ideological politics in the curriculum [3]. Thus, C programming course-teaching reform should not only focus on cultivating students’ practical ability but should also meet the OBE requirements of professional engineering certifications while also continuing to build students’ moral character through teaching the course and comprehensively implementing quality education.

2. Teaching Reform of Course Informatization

Educational information allows teachers to build an environment for improving the practical ability of C programming courses. The concept of educational informatization [4] was put forward in the 1990s with the construction of the information superhighway. The core content of educational informatization is teaching informatization. Teaching informatization means making teaching scientific and technological information, education on the dissemination of informatization, and the teaching of method modernization. In April 2018, the Ministry of Education of China issued the “Education Informatization 2.0 Action Plan” [5], which requires the comprehensive use of modern information technology based on computer, multimedia, big data, artificial intelligence, and network communication in education to promote educational reform and to meet the new requirements of the modern-day information society in education. It is of great significance to deepen educational reform and implement quality-oriented education. Under the requirements of educational informatization, many teachers have carried out many teaching reforms on C programming courses. For example, Fu et al. [6] and Zheng et al. [7] improved course practice teaching by using teaching software and autonomous learning platforms, realized the sharing of teaching resources, improved students’ interest in learning, and enhanced students’ programming ability. However, this course teaching reform mainly provided information-teaching resources, changed the teaching process, cultivated interest in learning, and did not truly implement the “student-centered” teaching concept or promote the innovation of teaching methods.

3. Teaching Reform Based on OBE

The Engineering Education Professional Accreditation is an international quality assurance system for engineering education and an important basis for international mutual recognition of engineering education and engineering qualifications. Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) was proposed by William G. Spady in 1981 [8]. In contrast to traditional educational concepts, OBE is neither teacher-centered nor knowledge-content driven but is instead student-centered and focused on student learning outcomes. China was accepted as a signatory to the Washington Agreement in June 2013. Against the background of the Engineering Education Professional Accreditation, because of the gap in how C programming courses are taught, in line with the outcomes-oriented principle, many scholars put forward that C language courses should undergo teaching reform based on the concept of OBE. For example, Cai [9] proposed reforming C programming course teaching based on the OBE concept to optimize C programming course teaching and to improve teaching quality. Fan et al. [10] explored the application of the OBE concept in the teaching reform of C programming courses, taking a project-driven teaching method and multi-dimensional teaching mode to cultivate students’ practical ability to promote the cultivation of thinking and innovation ability as well as engineering practice ability in new engineering students. Liu et al. [11] formulated teaching objectives for C programming courses based on the OBE concept, optimized the teaching content, adopted a mixed offline and online teaching model, and constructed a sustainable and improved assessment and evaluation system. Based on the idea of engineering education, Li et al. [12] established a new engineering-oriented curriculum system by designing innovative teaching models, advanced teaching methods, and optimized teaching objectives to cultivate interdisciplinary talents with strong engineering practice ability. Zhang et al. [13] proposed designing a hybrid teaching model supported by multiple teaching platforms and conducted cluster analysis on learning data generated by online learning activities, thus providing a direction for the continuous improvement of teaching. These studies provide a good reference for adapting C programming course teaching reform to the requirements of OBE and promoting the transformation of traditional education concepts. However, innovation in teaching resources and in the teaching environment should be strengthened to promote the collaborative improvement of knowledge, ability, and quality.

4. Teaching Reform Based on the Requirements of the “Golden Course”

In 2019, the Ministry of Education of China proposed the requirement of strengthening the construction of the “Golden Course” in the new era and implemented the “Double Ten-Thousand Plan” for national and provincial first-class courses [2]. It is clearly required that course teaching undergo changes in teaching concepts, explore new connotations in the teaching paradigm, take students as the center focus, carry out resource construction and environment construction, and integrate online and offline learning in-class and after-class as well as before and after class as a whole. It proposed that curriculum construction should have “High-order, Innovation, and Challenge”. As a result, many teachers have implemented teaching reform in C programming courses and have designed a number of blended C programming teaching models based on online and offline learning. For example, the research results of Demaidi et al. [14] showed that compared with traditional learning, blended learning significantly improved students’ academic performance, and students were satisfied with the convenience of using blended learning methods and the degree of suitability for programming and submitting homework. Alammary [15] showed that blended learning is more effective than traditional teaching and can improve students’ learning experience. Zhao [16] presented an implementation process of hybrid teaching methods based on an analysis of micro-classroom, flipped classrooms, MOOCs, and other teaching methods. Hybrid teaching methods have greatly helped students to improve their self-study ability, practical ability, learning interest, enthusiasm, and initiative. Ma et al. [17] used a combination of the C programming course and network tool software to build a new hybrid teaching model that effectively made up for the defects of a single online platform and effectively improved the quality of online teaching. Li et al. [18] proposed adopting the SPOC hybrid teaching model. By clarifying the roles of teachers and students, developing an interactive teaching model, using case teaching, enriching SPOC resources, and providing timely feedback, students’ reading and writing abilities and computational thinking improved. Wang et al. [19] combined the advantages of online and offline teaching to create a hybrid “golden course” teaching model that promotes strengths and avoids weaknesses, makes online and offline learning complement each other and improves teaching quality. Yuan [20] guided students’ interest in learning and emphasized students’ learning processes by constructing a mixed teaching model on the MosoTeach platform. The course teaching reforms mentioned above have strengthened the combination of online and offline as well as in-class and extra-curricular learning, have broken the time and place restrictions of traditional offline teaching, have realized the sharing of high-quality teaching resources and learning feedback, have provided a learning environment for students to learn the course content comprehensively, and have strengthened students’ autonomous learning ability. However, these teaching reforms do not reflect how to support the corresponding graduation requirements for the engineering education certification, do not implement ideological politics in the curriculum to achieve value guidance, and do not fully reflect the concept of continuous improvement.

5. Teaching Reform Based on Curriculum Ideology and Politics

In June 2020, the Ministry of Education issued the Guideline for the Construction of Curriculum Ideological and Politics in Higher Education. It is required that fostering virtue through education be carried out throughout the whole teaching process and all aspects of classroom teaching to help students establish correct value judgment and value choices [21]. Once again, the program puts forward new requirements for course teaching. As a result, many teachers of C programming courses studied the related research results on how to effectively implement education, such as those provided by Li et al. [22], in the process of teaching moral education to integrate socialist core values and to reform teaching content and methods. Shi [23] integrated ideological and political elements into the C programming course in various ways to cultivate excellent successors with national feelings and knowledge, ability, and quality in line with the requirements of the new era. These studies effectively integrated curriculum ideological politics into teaching, strengthened teachers’ value guidance and personality shaping for students in their teaching, and promoted the combination of ideological politics and ability training into the curriculum. However, it ignores the comprehensiveness and integrity of course reform. It only focuses on strengthening the ideological politics of the course curriculum without considering the effective combination of reforming the educational environment, teaching methods, and curriculum evaluation.
However, there are two deficiencies in the above four aspects of teaching reform. First, all teaching reforms are conducted from the standpoint of the scholars’ own research, which has obvious limitations. There is a lack of research results on innovation reform in teaching from the perspective of systematic and sustainable development. Second, in the era of the comprehensive implementation of quality-oriented education, curriculum teaching reform fails to effectively realize the synergistic promotion of knowledge imparting, ability training, and moral character shaping.

This entry is adapted from the peer-reviewed paper 10.3390/su142215226


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